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Publication numberUS1183779 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 16, 1916
Filing dateOct 3, 1914
Priority dateOct 3, 1914
Publication numberUS 1183779 A, US 1183779A, US-A-1183779, US1183779 A, US1183779A
InventorsGeorge W Thacker
Original AssigneeGeorge W Thacker
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
System of and apparatus for filing and indexing records.
US 1183779 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)




1,1 83,77 9. Patented May 16, 1916.





Patented May16, 1916.


v I w Quuemtoz Patented May16,1916.



. Ami


zwif E E5 D enonon w. rrrncxna, or IRoi'vnALE, ALABAMA.


Specification of Letter Patent. I Pat t May 1 191 Application filed October 3, 1914. Serial No. 864,815.

To all whom it may concern:

Be it known that I, GEORGE IV. THACKER, a citizen of the United States, residing at Irondale, county of Jefferson, State of Ala bama, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Systems of an'dApparatus for Filing and Indexing Records, of which the following is a specification, referencebeing had therein to the accompanying drawing.

My invention relates to systems, methods,

and apparatus of and for filing and indexing records, and it has for its object the production of means and a method by which it will be possible-to arrange and carry avery large number of individual orunit records, requiring classification under two or more heads, so that any and all of them will be instantly available withoutsearch when required.

While not limited in'its applicability to any special portion. of the field of filing and maintaining records, this invention is found specially useful to yard masters and inrailway ofiices, in keeping car records.

The systems in common use of classifying and indexing unitsunder two or more heads, whether the units handled be the objects themselves, or merely records symbolic of the objects, have heretofore been defective in basic particular,.viz., they are based upon, primary subdivisions under general heads secondary distribution under subheads, and so on. This necessitates the provision of separate receptacles or space or shelf room, for each principal head, although there may be only a few units under that head, and similarly a pro rata provision ferent: roads, and aggregating in number for a given perlod say one thousand. -Th1s would givean average of fifty cars per road,

must be made for each sub-head, whether secondary, tertiary, or what not. In other words, all the machinery of an army must be provided for a handful of private ,soldiers,'because they are classified according to corps, divisions, brigades, and so on down,

instead of being handled as units. Toillustra'te this condition specifically, I may refer to the handling of car records under heads and sub-heads or names and numbers. Suppose for example that in the yard in which records are being kept, cars. are received from time to time belonging to twenty dif-' but of course in practice and for any particular period of time, there would probably be many more than thisnumber for some roads, and none for others. Neverthe less, provision must be made for. recording under the head of each road, and for indexing in complete numerical order under each head. Obviously, there will always bevacant space in the file cases,'or blank pages in the books, in which such records are kept. In addition to this, the finding of any par ticular record involves the examination of every single head and sub-head for every unit sought. I

In any numerical system of filing, there will always be broken numbers under the heads, and the higher the numbers to be provided form the end, the more waste space therewill be in the beginning,some of which will never be filled up. Forexample if the classification must-extend to hundreds of thousands pigeon holes or guide cards or what not would of course be arranged for hundreds, tens, and units, of thousands, and if there is going to be any unit received bearinga number over nine hundred thousand, then a full equivalent for one hundred thousand additional numbers must be pro vided, to accommodate the relatively small number of units which'm'ay be received between nine hundred and one thousand and nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand. Similarly a full equipment must be provided to keep every other hundred thousand and for every ten thousand under ev ery hundred thousand, and for every thousand under every ten thousand, andyfor everyhundred under every thousand and for every ten under every hundred, and finally for every unit under every ten.

-To sum the whole matter up in a few words, the ordinary system of classification and indexing requires full equipment, so far as divisions and space go, for the full theoretical limit covered by' the system, whether expressed in subject matter, or numerically,-and whether ultimately used or not. r

My present invention differs radically fromthe foregoing. I reason that in handling units, they appear as units, and not primarily as members of a grand-division or genus. Therefore I classify them first as units, and then sub-dividethem according to their genus, species, and family connections in inverse order. Takefor example the keeping of car records, to which I have units and their numbers are capable of classification by themselves regardless of the roads to which they belong. There will be a great many more of these numbers running together into related groups, than there will be of the names of the roads to which they belong. Moreover, there will be fewer lapses or elisions, or in common parlance gaps, in the unit numbers. Suppose in one month it be found that 10 cars have come in all having their total designation ter minating in the two digits 15. Suppose that their hundreds designations are distributed among four or five groups, their thousands designations of each group among two or three groups, and finally that six of these cars belonged to different roads, and four to the same road, these four ofcourse having their numerals differing in the higher digits. Obviously, distribution by the ordinary method would involve use of a considerable equipment, and much blanking or loss of space in the indexes. According to my invention however these cars would all be classified and indexed first under the numeral 15, then that group would be sub-divided according to the next higher digits, and so on, working down to the final sub-division under the names of the roads. By this method, the records of all the cars coming into the yard and bearing numerals terminating in the same last two digits, would be kept together, the units designation thus becoming the generic or principal head, under which subsequent sub-division and classificationis effected.

In the practical working of a railway office, and especially of such a center as a yard masters office, the records must be kept so that special training will not be required in either making or handling them, as they have-to be kept and usedby practical men. Moreover, it is absolutelyessential that they beboth complete and correct, and so far as possible without dead wood or waste. In systems of transportation, time is money in the most direct sense, and any defect or inadequacy in methods, which slows down or lowers the efiiciency of service rendered by employees, is translated without any possibility of evasion, into direct increase of expense and loss to the shippers and travelers whoare being served, and of course through them to the public at large. The ordinary method of keeping car records is not only relatively slow andineflicient, but subject to limitation in ultimate capacity, and liability of error in transcription or arrangement. By the use of my invention, these defects are partially ifnot entirely cured, the ultimate capacity of agiven equipment being greatly increased, probably beyond the requirements of any yard or center for which it would be designed, while the probability of error in transcription, filing, or finding individual records is greatly reduced or eliminated.

Applied to cases of filing systems, my invention enables a very large number of letters or papers to be systematically and compactly arranged, with every individual unit instantly available at any time. This of course is due to my putting together in primary groups the order of numbers which recur the most frequently as for example the units digits below one hundred, mentioned above.

Various refinements of my invention will appear in the detailed description hereinafter. The invention may be embodied in various forms, such'as index books, file cases, pigeon holes, etc. Its essentials remain the same in any case, however, and of course the details may be varied in many ways without departing from the spirit of the invention.

I have illustrated in the accompanying drawings some forms of apparatus with which my invention may be practised.

In the drawings: Figure 1 is a front view of afiling case with its divisions numbered according to my invention. Fig. 2 is a similar view of a modified form of filing case. Fig. 3 is a face view of a record book with the front cover open, showing double index.

Fig. 4 is a similar view of a modified form Fig. 5 1s aof book having a single index. perspective view of a filing drawer adapted for use with the cabinets or file cases of Figs. 1 and 2. Figs. 6 and 7 show modified forms of record books. modified form of cabinet, adapted to be used in pmall systems with the books of Figs. 6 am: 7.

It will be most convenient, and will make for clearness, if I first describe my invention specifically as applied to a car record system, and then point out how it can be applied to other uses, and the benefits which will flow from such applications.

Referring to Fig. 1, this represents a cabinet having side walls 1 and 2 and top and bottom members 3 and 4-. In the rectangle formed by 1, 2, 3 and l, the cabinet is divided into spaces by the vertical partltions 5 and the horizontal shelves 6. The number of divisions and the dimensions of the rectangle are such that each pigeon hole is rectangular in section and of dimensions suitable to receive a record book, a card case, or the like. The simplest arrangement calls for a record book. I provide one of these books, such for example as shown in Fig. 4, for every pigeon hole, from 00 to 99. Each book is suitably indexed, either in the manner shown in Fig. 4, to provide for nu- Fig. 8 is a front view of a e merical distribution, or with equivalent al- Each pigeon hole in Fig. l bears a numher as shown, which may be applied in any wood or other material.


desired and suitable manner. The numbers may be painted on hinged. drop fronts or covers, which may be of glass like the l/Vernicke sectional book case covers-, or of InFig. l. pigeonholes numbers 00 to 97 in the first'eight columns are shown as having these covers-or drops, while the pigeon holes in the last two columns of the 8s and 9s are shown fitted with a seriesof drawers such as that shown in'Fig. 5. Where such drawers are provided, the number may be painted on the front of the drawers in each pigeon hole, its temporary mutilation when a drawer is re-' moved being a matter of no importance. Drawers would be fitted throughout for completing the case for filing purposes.

The numbers on'all the pigeon holes cor respond to and indicate the last two digits of the car numbers recorded in the several books kept in the pigeon holes, one book to each pigeon hole. For example, the book in pigeoen hole 11 is numbered 11, and when opened is found to contain an index like that shown in Fig. 4h This bookfcontains the car records of all carswhose' numbers end in 11, and it is divided according to its index so that the carrecords are grouped in the book according to their next/highest digits. Thus all cars whose'numbers end with 011 will be entered on'the first group of pages, all those ending in 111 will beentered on the next group of pages, and so on, those whose numbers end with 911 beingentered in the last group of pages. 1

Each one of the cargroups, 111', 211,311,- etc., may besub-divided by sub-dividing the space in its group of digits. In suchca'se cars whose numbers end with 0011 would appear in the first sub-division of the first group of pages in the book. Cars whose numbers end with 9011 would appear in the last division of the first group of pagesi Jars whose numbers end in O lll would appear inthe first division of-the fourth group of pages in the book. Cars whose numbers end with 94r-11'would appear in the last'sub division in the fourth group of pages in the book. Finally, cars whose numbers end with 0911 would appear in thefirst subdivision of the last group in the book, and cars whose numbers end with 9911 would appear in the last sub-division of the last group in the book. I I Where a double distribution of sub-division into four or more digits is thusmade, the index may be doubled, and divisions from 0 to 9 will then appear under each'oi' the main divisionsO to 9. Sub-divisionto this extent provides for a classification and instant location of any one of ten thousand It will usually be found unn'eces sary to go above this so far as the numerals are concerned, and indeed it should not usuallybe necessary to go above one thousand.

at least 1 The duplication of the last three digits of the numerals appearing on the carsin transit through' the same yard, will not be so frequent as to require special provision, and of course the duplication of the last four digits would be still lessfrequent. Itherefore find it sufficiently convenient'to enter those having the same last three digits in the same group, in the order in which they may happen to comethroughf Of course, in a large centerwhere the traflic is very heavy, and the number of cars handled in a month will run intomanythOusands, the four 'digit classification 'isto be preferred, as a time saver. It does requirehowevera little more time in making therecord, and this partially off-sets the time saved in findingthe same afterwardwhen needed; 3 I? "In" thestatement er invention herein, I havereferred to the designation offcars by the names of'the roads to which they'be-' long. They may also be sub divided "and classified accordingto such names, and in a large yardor a busyoffice', this will be found both desirable'and necessary. Fig. '3

shows the double index'for such a classifica to be recorded in the bookQ The entries would be made, first by groups according to the last two digitsof the car numbers, (which involves selection of a pigeon hole and its contained record book); second by sub-division's ofigroupsirom-O to 9, as'indicated "by the tabs in the book; and third by the name's'of the roads, each road having oneor more pages to itselfun'derthe letter .ofthe alph'abet by which it is known. It is tobe here noted that this sub-division by letters of the alphabet does not"neces'sarily means that initial lettersof th'e names would govern. 'Some roads'are'know'n by a letter,

- forexa'mple ""QZfwhich' is"'not the initial letteryand others'are known by strings of letters, anyone of which mightarb'itrarily be selectedffor record purposes and would be entirely satisfactory provided itsuse he recognizedand standardized in allthe yards having occasion to refer toeach others rec- I ords, or inall the'yards 'ofthe same road,

It will; readily be perceived that arecord book arranged in the manner described will have itsxuseful capacity multiplied several pirical provision made under each namefor the numbers of cars belonging to the corresponding road.

The method of employment of the apparatus in Figs. 1, 3 and 4: and the method of .operation involved broadlyin my invention, will be clearly apparent from this description. In locating a car .or in making a record, the? operator selects first the pigeon hole in the cabinet of Fig. lwhose number corresponds to the last two digits of the car number in question. The record book lnth'e selected pigeon hole is then taken out .and opened by that oneofithe numbered which corresponds tothe next-higher. digit.

In a yard with small traffic, this will be sufficient, theubook shown in Fig. i being then employed, having on the same page or in t e am group o page al the c s whose numbersuhave the same last three digits, or in other words all the cars whose numbers are in thesame tens group of the same hundreds group of the same thousands group. In alargeryard however the book.

f ig 3-wou d b us and aftert rnin up the number tab corresponding to the thirddigit, the operator would run down the index letters in the group selected, until he reached the letter (or numeral if such be mp oy d) d s g a g the madto wh c he ar b longs- Broadly speaking, of course this method nte pl te a Pri ary clas fica n an distribution of units accordi'ng to their unit characteristics, followed by thedivision of ach" g up into ,smal e g o p acc to their family characteristics, then dividing each family according to species, and

so on.

Having thus described the invention as applied to .carrecords, which involve to a certain a sys e of ind ngcomplete in itself for reference purposes, I will n wv Point out how th same meth nd apparatus may be-applied to general filing, without special regardtoindexing. I

The right-hand two columns in Fig. 1 show the pigeon holes filled with small vertically separated drawers. Fig. 5 shows one ofthese d'rawersremoved, on a larger scale. It will be notedthattheinside of the drawer is separated by transverse partitions into ten spaces, eachadapted to receive papers 9 the o jec s l h -b ks o th dra ersin place, are displayed notonly the numbers of the pigeonholes, but'also drawer umb sf mo m9 lie ea P o l Following the same system as with the car records, supposethat-we havea paper which bears the number 897 8. To. locate this paper the premie woul first so to Pi o h e No. 78 (these being,-tlie last two digits of the desired number) then pull out drawer No. 9 in that pigeon hole, when the desired paper would be found behind partition No. 8, in that drawer. Obviously this subdivision by four digits enables correct classification of and instant access to any and all of ten .thousand'papers or other objects. The compactness of the system cannotbe questioned, because in any large number of objects averages hold, and thenumber of units with the same last two digits would be fairly constant for all the pigeon holes, while the sub-division of each group by the next higher digit would also be fairly uniform, as would be the sub-division according to the highest digit. There would of course be a tendency to depart from strict uniformity, becoming more marked asthe digits rise in value, but even this would usually be along uniform lines.

The cabinet shown in Fig. 2 is adapted to hold record books such as shown in Figs. 3 and 4,91 it may be used for filing papers or other objects,'and its pigeon holes may be sub-divided if desired. It is particularly adapted for the use of the operators in a yard Ihasters office, and in the form illus trated may be conveniently mounted on the back of a desk or shelf, so that every pigeon hole will :be within easy reaching distance of ,the occupant. I have shown two banks of pigeon holes, separated from each other by an open space, in which I purpose locating other files, records, or apparatus, having no direct connection with the present invention.. The pigeon holes are numbered from QOto 99, and in eachpigeon hole is a bookof the .type shown in Fig. 3 or Fig. 4, each book bearing upon its back the same number as the ,pigeon hole. As a matter of fact, the numerals shown in Fig. 2 may actually be the numerals carried on the backs of the books,,since it is the numbering of the books and not of the pigeon holes themselves that is of importance.

The method of operation with these books referred to would be necessary to hold the cards, and all the cards in each pigeon hole would be. divided into ten groups, instead of the pages in the book. Moreoveiyeach group of cards may be'sub-divided under higher heads, or under alphabetical designations, or undernames of the roads, inaccordance withthe sub-division of pages pre viously 'set forth. Various other changes and non-essential modifications maybe made which will readily-occur to those skilled in the art, but I wish'it to be understood that I contemplate all such changes and modifications as fairly fall within the scope of the appended claims. i

Figs. 6, 7 and 8 show the equipment for a very small business, to be used by local agents and conductors along the line of the railroad. The case in Fig. 8 is intended to hold a set of books such as shown in Figs. 6 and 7, the books numbered from 0 "to 9,"

and to be used by agents and terminals. For instance, an agent at a small station may make a complete copy of every way bill of cars setout at his station. (See Fig. 7). At terminal yards, the yard men may make a record of each car as shown in Fig. 6. Of course this is covered in the description of the larger books and cabinets, but I consider that this smaller cabinet and the books intended for it constitute specific forms of my invention, and I intend to claim them correspondingly. The indexing is practically the same as in the other cases described, except that it is double indexing. Suppose for example, a car should be received numbered Wabash 101,064, the operator first'pulls out book No. 4, from the pigeon hole No. at in Fig. 8, then he pulls strap No. 6 on the right hand column of figures in the book, then pulls strap No. 0 in the left hand column, and so on. The book contains 100 leaves, divided into 10 divisions, according to the 10 outside straps in the column of figures to the right. Each division contains 10 leaves, which it will be observed are numbered from 0 to 9. I

It will be understoodthat the books illustrated in Figs. 6 and 7 while usable with the small case shown in Fig. 8, would have their numbers changed to the extent that only the last digit of all the numbers would be the same as the number of the book. It follows from the book that there are only ten boxes.

In Figs. 6 and 7 of the digawings, the last two digits are shown constant in accordance with the requirements of the large case in Fig. 2 which contains one hundred boxes. In the small case of Fig. 8 the last digit of all the numbers in each box will be the same, and in the large case the last two digits in each box would be the same. This means that in the small case of Fig. 8, it would be the second digit from the right that would determine the initial group in the book, and the third digit from the right that would determine the special group. On the other hand, in the books for the large case of Fig. 2, made exactly as illustrated in Figs. 6 and 7, the last two digits would be the same in each book, the third digit from the right would determine the first index group, and

for several years, saving much time daily.

hat I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:

1. A filing and record equipment comprising a cabinet having its content divided into one hundred spaces or pigeon holes, and a group of records 'for each pigeon hole secured together and comprising numerals all of which correspond in their last two digits to the number of the pigeon hole.

2. A. filing equipment comprising a cabinet containing one hiuidred pigeon holes numbered from O0 to 99, a book for each pigeon hole, each book numbered the same as its pigeon hole and having its leaves divided according to'the third digit from the end of each number to be classified, whereby the individual records may be made first in the order of their last two digits and thereafter according to other higher designations. 0

3. Apparatus for compactly filing and storing aggregations of unitary records having generic and specific designations, so as to render them quickly accessible and avoid waste space, comprising a cabinet containing pigeon holes arranged and marked to correspond with the specific designations, and a record holder such as a book fitted to each pigeon hole, numbered to correspond therewith and comprising aggregations of unit leaf members for receiving and holding the individual records, all having the same specific designation, said in dividual members or leaves being divided into sub-groups according to the generic designations aforesaid.

4t. Apparatus for making and keeping records of cars bearing individual designations each consisting of an indication of the road to which the car belongs and a numeral, comprising a cabinet divided into pigeon holes arranged and numbered to correspond to the last two digits of the various car numbers to be recorded, a book fitted to each pigeon hole designated by the same number as the pigeon hole, and containing a plurality of record leaves subdivided into groups corresponding to and designated for the respective roads to which the cars belong.

5. Afiling equipmentcomprising a cabinet containing one hundred pigeon holes numbered from '00 to 99, a book fitted to each pigeon hole, each book numbered the same as its pigeon hole, and having its leaves doubly divided and indexed,'the first division and index being based on the third digits from the end of the numbers .to be classified, and each such group being subdivided and indexed according to higher or more generic designations, whereby the individual records may be made and pre served first in the order of their individual units digits, then in the sub-order of the nexthigher digit, and thereafter according to a still more generic designation.

In testimony whereof I affix my signature in presence of tWo Witnesses.



Copies of this patent may be obtained for five cents each, by addressing the Commissioner of Patents, Washington, D. 0. r

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3269788 *Aug 21, 1964Aug 30, 1966Kneer William MApparatus and method for sorting numbered media
US4832374 *Sep 15, 1987May 23, 1989Prest Jr Kenneth WSystem for indexing textual material
US5921582 *May 15, 1998Jul 13, 1999Gusack; Mark DavidIndexing system, record structure, and linking methodology for paper-based and electronic-based informational assemblies
U.S. Classification40/393, 312/234.4, 211/10
Cooperative ClassificationB42F19/00